Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is it organic or not?

Much debate has ensued over the number of food and beauty products on the market that claim to be organic yet are not certified. Some companies have resorted to deceptive tactics by incorporating the word "organic" into their product lines. As organic foods continue to gain popularity for their health benefits, this issue will also be on the rise.

A New York Times article appeared in the papers today discussing how one retail chain, Whole Foods, was tackling the issue by removing any products that did not contain the USDA or NSF certification seal. The USDA organic seal is a guarantee that the product has been inspected and certfied organic by the US Department of Agriculture's standards. NSF International is a similar nonprofit based in Ann Arbor, Mich., that issues its own certification mark.

To avoid falling prey to marketing gimmicks, always look for the USDA organic seal (below). By purchasing 100% natural beauty products such as pure cocoa butter, you can also avoid the use of preservatives, pesticides and other toxic chemicals.

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